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Recanvass Requested For South Louisville House District Election

denny butler
Legislative Research Commission

The results of the only state House race to unseat an incumbent Republican this November will be recanvassed on Thursday, with initial returns showing a 259 vote difference between the candidates.

Republican Rep. Denny Butler on Monday requested the recanvass, which is essentially a re-tabulation of votes in the district and not to be confused with the more rigorous recount.

Historically, recanvasses haven’t yielded enough votes to change the outcome of elections in Kentucky.

On Tuesday, Democratic candidate McKenzie Cantrell said she’s not worried about the challenge.

“A couple hundred votes is a pretty small margin, but it only reinforces our choices, that everything that we did mattered,” Cantrell said. “Every dollar that we raised, every door that we knocked on, every Facebook post, every comment, every phone call really made a difference.”

The 38th House District was the only election in which Democrats were able to unseat an incumbent Republican, partly because of high Democratic Party registration and a strong union presence in the district.

Butler, a retired homicide detective, was a longtime Democrat but switched to the Republican Party just before this year’s legislative session, saying he no longer shared the values of his former party.

Republicans unseated 17 incumbent Democratic representatives across the state on Election Day, blitzing to secure a majority of seats in the House for the first time since 1921.

Cantrell said that she wishes Democrats had performed better across the state, but that she would still be pushing for labor issues from the new minority party.

“I’m going to be a strong voice where I need to be and I’m going to cross the aisle and get things done where I need to,” she said.

The recanvass will be conducted on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. Email Ryland at rbarton@lpm.org.